On a rainy day, this cream of broccoli soup is ideal. It is light and healthful while also being creamy and filling. For your favorite sandwiches and hearty salads, this soup makes a beautiful side dish.
Some of the components in this cream of broccoli soup recipe might pique your interest. It’s lusciously creamy to begin with, using mostly butter and just a drizzle of optional cream to complete the soup.
Second, this dish uses the stems and crowns of the broccoli, which is a creative method to maximize broccoli flavor and reduce waste. This approach was demonstrated to you in my broccoli cheese soup. You’ll undoubtedly enjoy this soup if you liked that one.
This cream of broccoli soup is a really, really wonderful addition to a springtime supper but is not a standout dish on its own. I hope you give it a shot!
Ingredients for cream of broccoli soup
- Broccoli: Of course, but! The stems will be peeled, chopped up, and simmered until they are soft enough to combine. We’ll boil the cut florets until they are brilliant green before mixing.
- Unsalted butter: This soup is a perfect fit for butter because it is a semisolid type of cream. Actually, the “cream” portion of this recipe will be made with butter.
- These alliums—yellow onions and garlic—are the foundation of the soup’s flavor. We’ll only roughly cut the onion and smash the garlic to minimize prep labor. Later, we’ll combine them together.
- Water: In this soup, water is preferable to broth since it brings out the natural flavor and vibrant green color of the broccoli. Vegetable broth, in my opinion, can add a significant amount of sodium with only a weak or occasionally offensive flavor.
- Salt and pepper: To improve the flavor of this soup, we’ll use a fair amount of salt since we’re using water rather than salty broth. You have complete discretion over how much sodium is in this dish, which is wonderful, but follow my recommendations for the best flavor.
- Lemon squeeze: To add some brightness and acidity to the completed soup, stir in a teaspoon or two of fresh lemon juice.
- Optional garnishes: To accentuate the label “cream of broccoli soup,” add a drizzle of heavy cream just before serving. It adds extra creaminess and taste to the soup. Fresh chives that have been coarsely chopped could also be added.
Equipment Notes & Suggestions
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If you are serving two people or don’t want a lot of leftovers (note that this soup freezes well!), you could easily cut the ingredients in half. Here’s what you’ll need to make this soup:
- I’m convinced that soups always taste better when they’re cooked in a Dutch oven. I used my 5.5-quart Le Creuset for this recipe. A large, heavy-bottomed soup pot will also work well.
- You’ll need a lid for the pot. In a pinch, you could use a metal baking sheet.
- If you are making the full batch, you’ll need to blend it in batches in your stand blender. I could not blend the full batch at once in my Vitamix. Transfer the blended portion to a heat-proof pitcher or container as you blend the rest, then combine it all in the soup pot.
- Or, you could use an immersion blender. The trouble with immersion blenders is that even the best immersion blender never yields soup as creamy as you could accomplish in your stand blender. I wish it weren’t true!
- divided into 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- two medium yellow onions, chopped coarsely
- 6 peeled and crushed garlic cloves
- 1 14 teaspoons of fine sea salt, divided, according to taste
- black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
- 2 pounds of stalked broccoli (3 large or 4 medium)
- Water in 6 glasses
- lemon juice, 1 to 2 tablespoons, to taste
- Optional garnishes include heavy cream drizzled over the dish and/or fresh chives that have been finely chopped.
Also read: Arugula and Goat Cheese Pasta Salad
- Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion, garlic, ¼ teaspoon of the salt, and about 10 twists of black pepper.
- Stir to combine, then cover the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened and are just starting to turn golden, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, slice off and discard the rough bottom ends of broccoli stalks. Use a vegetable peeler to peel off the tough outer skin on the stalks, then discard those bits. Slice the stalks off and cut them into pieces about 1 to 2-inches big. Set aside.
- Working with the broccoli tops now, cut as closely to the base of the florets as you can. Slice any remaining stalks into chunks to match to the rest. Reserve the broccoli florets—we’ll use them in a bit.
- Add the chunks of broccoli stalk to the pot and stir. Pour in 6 cups water and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Raise the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil, then promptly reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pot.
- Simmer until the broccoli stalks are tender throughout and easily split apart when pierced with a fork, about 20-25 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the reserved florets into small pieces (I chop them all in one direction, then turn the cutting board and chop again).
- Once the stalks are tender, add all of the florets to pot, stir, cover, and cook until they’re bright green and easily pierced through by a fork, about 4 to 7 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, and add the remaining tablespoon of butter.
- Working in a couple of batches (never fill your blender past the maximum fill line or it could explode!), carefully transfer several cups of the mixture—both the liquid and solids—to your stand blender. Blend until completely smooth, then transfer the mixture to a heat-proof vessel temporarily as you blend the rest. Alternatively, use an immersion blender (it just won’t be as lusciously creamy). Return the purée to the pot.
- Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Carefully taste (it’s hot) and adjust to taste—add more salt for more overall flavor (I usually add another ¼ teaspoon), another teaspoon lemon juice for more brightness, and/or more black pepper for kick.
- Divide the soup into bowls and garnish with a light drizzle of cream and/or sprinkle of chives, if desired. Serve. Leftover soup keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 4 days (you may want to wake up the leftovers with another squeeze of lemon). This soup will freeze well for several months.